Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
After a six-year break, one of the longest running annual musical events in Jamaica has returned - and with several new sponsors. 'The Return of the Original Startime' is the show that pays tribute to the masters of original Jamaican music.
Lovers of vintage music are taken down memory lane by the soulful renditions of stars of the '50s through the '80s such as John Holt, Marcia Griffiths, The Mighty Diamonds, and Ken Booth.
The event, scheduled for the Liguanea Club, will be held on Saturday with J. Wray and Nephew Limited as title sponsors. According to Cecil Smith, marketing manager at J. Wray and Nephew Limited, Startime is an iconic Jamaican event that is a big part of our culture. He expressed his delight at being able to step into the headline sponsorship role.
"It is a sizeable investment that is worth every dollar. People are happy, and there are innumerable requests from even inside our office to purchase tickets. There is a lot of excitement and buzz around it," Smith said.
Catherine Goodall, trade marketing manager for Pepsi Cola Jamaica, said they would be using their Ting brand at the Startime event. The decision to sponsor Startime came about as a result of the event being as authentic and having similar attributes as their Ting brand.
"The Ting logo is 'My Jamaica, My Ting' and is an authentic and refreshing brand that has been on the market since 1976. It is a popular beverage in the Caribbean and is also a popular mixer," Goodall said.
The event, she said, is opportune, citing that with the sponsorship of main sponsors Wray and Nephew, patrons would be able to mix Ting with the rum, which is also a local favourite. "We will be there with all our perfect chasers, including Ting, Pepsi and Ocean Spray Cranberry. Ting is flavoured with Jamaican grapefruit and is both tart and sweet," Goodall said.
Also stepping back into the sponsorship role is Kool 97 FM. The station sponsored Startime from 2001 until its final show in 2006. According to station manager Clordene Lloyd, upon being approached to be involved, they did not hesitate to be the exclusive radio partner.
"The decision to sponsor Startime was easy to make for obvious reasons. Startime promoters MKB Promotions showcases the best of vintage artistes and performers. These artistes continue to contribute significantly to our musical heritage. Also, Startime's mandate is synonymous with that of Kool 97 FM's, that is, to revive the careers of these talented artistes through the promotion of their work on an ongoing basis," Lloyd said.
Sheron Cameron, sales and marketing manager at the Liguanea Club, said they were influenced to become sponsors based on the positive track record of the previous shows. "Startime is a show of high quality, good and clean music that caters to patrons with a great appreciation of our Jamaican artistes," Cameron said.